Recipe: Fabada Asturiana (pork and bean stew)

Fabada Asturiana
My boyfriend, who hails from Cantabria on the north coast of Spain, introduced me to Fabada Asturiana on my first trip back home with him. The hearty bean stew comes from his neighbouring province Asturias – and is most often served with bread for lunch.

Since 2016 is International Year of Pulses, I’ve been meaning to try it with local ingredients. While the traditional dish is most commonly served with faba beans, I substituted white northern beans grown in Alberta. I used Alberta pork belly and chorizo I picked up from Sunterra Market along with black pudding or blood sausage (called morcilla in Spain), which I ordered from Irving Farms. I found that Save-On Foods carries the same Spanish paprika that I brought back from Spain this past summer – it has a very distinct smoky taste to the more common paprika in stores.

What you’ll need…

1 white onion, chopped
1 head garlic, minced
2 tbsp canola oil
2 cups of faba, northern or white beans
1 tbsp smoked Spanish paprika (pimenton)
250 gram pork belly, cut into cubes
2 chorizo sausages,
1 portion black pudding, or blood sausage


Soak the beans in a pot of water overnight, making sure the water generously covers the beans.

In a large enameled cast-iron casserole dish or heavy duty pot,  add the oil, onion, garlic, and pimentón, and cook over low-medium heat until onions are soft.

Drain the beans, rinse, and add to the pot with the pork belly. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for an hour and 15 minutes.

Add the chorizo and blood sausage, but be sure to keep in their casings. Simmer for 45 minutes more or until beans are thoroughly cooked and liquid has reduced to the consistency of a stew.

Remove the chorizo and blood sausage, and once cool enough to handle, cut into chunks. Either add the sausage pieces back to the dish and serve, or serve on a plate on the side for people to add to their own bowl of Fabada Asturiana.